Big River Group was engaged to supply the anti slip plywood for the flooring of the temporary grandstand installed at the Perth Optus Stadium, Australia’s biggest sports stadium designed to host both sporting and non-sporting events.

Given the diversity of use, the Perth Optus Stadium required a bump-in/bump-out grandstand to allow the ground to host AFL, cricket, rugby and soccer games, as well as concerts and similar non-sporting events. This meant the pitch needed to be readily converted from oval to rectangular to accommodate the different shaped pitches required by each sport.

A quick turnaround between events was an important requirement, which would allow the grandstand to be fully set up within 12 hours. This meant the material used to build this challenging structure needed to be lightweight for easy handling and all-weather proof.

The solution was designed by Bluecube, the international company contracted to fit out all seating requirements within the state-of-the-art venue. The result is a flat-pack temporary grandstand made from four stands, one for each side of the rectangular rugby/ soccer mode, totalling a 4,600-seat capacity.

Big River Group was chosen to supply the anti-slip plywood for the flooring of the grandstand.

“The venue was created with a ‘fans first’ approach to planning and design, which first and foremost includes their safety,” said Daniel Ho, design, sales and engineering manager in Australia for Bluecube.

“To meet this expectation, more than 4,900sqm of Big River Group’s Anti-Slip plywood was used to ensure the temporary grandstand would meet the strict safety requirements, including the floor of the seated areas, plus all steps, landings, ramps and corridors,” he said

These areas now have the maximum rating of P5 (V) classification in the slip resistance testing in wet conditions and D1 in dry conditions; Big River’s anti-slip product was specifically chosen for being Australian made.

“The knowledge that the product is made to Australian Standard AS2269 and right here was a key consideration for us,” said Ho.

“Knowing this product was locally produced meant that we didn’t need to over-inspect the manufacturing facilities, saving both time and cost.

“Importantly, it also meant that we were confident they would understand the exacting standards required in such a complex project. Not only in terms of safety, but also for the construction process itself. This was made easy as the Big River team was able to liaise with a subcontract machinist in Perth while our Bluecube engineers were located both interstate in NSW, and internationally in the UK.

“Our client, the West Australian Government, said they ‘weren’t expecting such a high quality product and fit out’,” paraphrased Ho when detailing the feedback his team received.

“The whole build was a real dream partnership from the get-go, as Big River also organised all fire specification and certifications so we knew the company could provide the necessary fire-testing for this product, which is required by the State Government,” he said.

Big River was also able to procure all the complex, custom-size panels required for the areas where the grandstand interfaced with the stadium bowl. 

“The Anti-Slip was custom-made for this order – a clear hard coat on 17mm thick panels,” added Jim Bindon, Managing Director of Big River Group. “This ensured the flooring showed the exact colours as the seating, which was a key design consideration during the build of this mega-venue.”

The stadium seating colours were chosen with cricket in mind. Three neutral colours were carefully selected, graduating from the playing arena to the back to ensure that the seats didn’t interfere with cricket players’ vision in any form of the game, which used white, pink or red balls.

Manufactured at Big River Group’s manufacturing site in Grafton, NSW, Anti-Slip plywood is a high strength F17 structural plywood. The timber features a textured paint finish with crushed glass for maximum wear and slip resistance, while the reverse side of the panel has a phenolic film for moisture protection in damp, wet and external areas.

Big River’s Anti-Slip plywood can also be used for construction sites and medical environments, in both permanent and temporary applications where safety is paramount. The plywood can be supplied in three standard colours: Safety Yellow, Black and Grey.

The product is available in a range of sizes and thicknesses, as well as in custom size panels. Anti slip plywood can also be scarf jointed if larger sheets are required.